Since 2011, the Legal Services Board has required regulators to monitor the equality and diversity of firms within the legal industry. As a result, all firms regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are required to submit their equality and diversity data each year. The SRA can then identify and inform the approach firms take to recruitment, promotion and other workplace policies.
The SRA has been keeping data for two years, allowing law firms across the country to see how they compare, and to identify areas for improvement. The data below was collected by UnionLine throughout the year, and was submitted to the SRA on 30 September 2015.
The data revealed that 40 per cent of respondents working at the firm were aged between 25 and 34, compared to 31 per cent nationally. Seventeen per cent of employees at UnionLine were aged 35 to 44, 10 per cent were aged 45 to 54, and 33 per cent were aged between 16 and 24.
Seventeen per cent of employees within UnionLine are from BAME backgrounds, according to the survey. Employees from white UK backgrounds made up 83 per cent of responses. In the SRA data, 85 per cent of law firm employees are white, with 15 per cent from BAME backgrounds.
All respondents who stated they held a managerial role within UnionLine were female, while 33 per cent of chartered legal executives were male. Eighty-three per cent of solicitors at the firm are female.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents to the UnionLine survey were male, and 67 per cent were female. We match up across the legal profession, with the national figures showing 36 per cent of workers are male and 64 per cent are female.
Just over three per cent of UnionLine employees attended school outside of the UK, compared to seven per cent in the SRA’s data. Of those who attended school in the UK, 93 per cent attended a state school. At a national level, 78 per cent of respondents attended a UK state school.
Sixty per cent of UnionLine employees were in the first generation of their family to go to university, putting us ahead of the national figures of 34 per cent. However, 10 per cent of UnionLine employees did not attend university at all. This figure is lower than the SRA’s data, which show 37 per cent of workers in the profession have not attended higher education.
Results showed that 10 per cent of the firm’s respondents considered themselves to have a disability under the definitions of the Equality Act 2010. In the SRA figures, this number stands at two per cent.
Seven per cent of employees at UnionLine said they were the primary carer for a child under 18, yet in the SRA data 28 per cent of law firm employees are the main carer for a child.